A renewed interest in leisure investment and the tourist attractions of the Cotswolds are combining to fuel the take up of hotels and pubs in the area, a leading commercial agent has reported.
This time last year Colliers International had eleven hotels on its books with a combined asking price of around £13m. Twelve months on and eight of the specialist properties have been sold — four in Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds and four in Wales.
During the same period the real estate services provider was instructed to dispose of a further dozen similar properties. “This activity demonstrates that the hotel market in the West Country and Wales is certainly showing signs of a return to pre-downturn buoyancy,” commented Colliers’ hotels director, Peter Brunt.
“It is astonishing to see the extent to which confidence has returned to the hospitality sector,” he adds. “After treading water for a number of years through the downturn it was inevitable there would be considerable pent up demand within the industry, but I think the continuing strength of the market has taken most commentators by surprise.”
Brunt — who advises on hotel properties throughout the west of England and Wales — believes the global appeal of the Cotswolds to tourists is key to the continued interest in the area from potential buyers. In contrast, those looking at Welsh business investments are generally more concerned with good value.
“The Cotswolds proved very resilient throughout the downturn and we continued to sell properties despite all the prevailing doom and gloom a few years ago,” explained Brunt. “This underlines the global pull of one of my personal favourite regions in the UK.”
Among the recent transactions the director negotiated were the sale of the Forest House Hotel (pictured above), Coleford in the Royal Forest Of Dean, and three public houses: the Fox and Hounds at Great Wolford (pictured below), the Howard Arms in Ilmington and the Plough Inn, Kelmscott.
“The Cotswolds practically guarantees year-round business from a well-heeled clientele,” he concluded, “but the opportunity to both live and work in an area of outstanding natural beauty applies just as well whether you choose to base yourself in Burford or Builth Wells.”
The interest in Cotswold properties was given an additional boost this week [15 June] with a Government announcement that it is pumping £35m into improving major roads across Gloucestershire.
Confirming the infrastructure investment, roads minister Andrew Jones, said: “As part of our long-term economic plan we’re committed to the biggest investment in roads across the West Country in a generation. It’s vital that we use our transport infrastructure to create jobs and business opportunities.”